PICK: K-Dramas that Became a Turning Point for Lee Seung Gi in His Career

Lee Seung Gi new drama

Edited by Seo Hayne
Translated by Kim Hoyeun

Lee Seung Gi new drama
Credit: KBS

Lee Seung Gi, who’s been active as a singer, host, and actor, is returning to the small screen with a new drama after a year: The Law Cafe, a rom-com based on a web novel and webtoon of the same name. We look back on the five dramas of Lee Seung Gi, who’s steadily working as an actor even while performing many roles as an entertainer.

Mouse (2021)

Mouse is a thriller about police officer Jung Bo Ram and detective Go Moo Chi (Lee Hee Joon) pursuing a psychopath criminal. Jung Bo Ram is a righteous man who punished school violence perpetrators in high school, so in other words, he’s a “good” man everyone agrees on. But in the second half of the show, his real identity is revealed, presenting an unexpected twist. The killer that killed Go Moo Chi’s parents was none other than Jung Ba Reum. With a face of pure evil, he judges the world in his own way. Lee Seung Gi played the villain role for the first time in 16 years of his debut, overcoming concerns over his “good boy” image and brilliantly portraying a character in which good and evil coexist.

Vagabond (2019)

Vagabond is an action drama about Cha Dal Gun, who got swept up in a plane crash, uncovering the truth that’s been covered up. Cha Dal Gun is a stuntman-turned-mercenary. After losing his nephew in a plane terror disguised as an accident, he becomes a mercenary for revenge. Considering the material, the drama showcased various action scenes. The spectacular action sequences such as hanging on a moving car and jumping over a building without safety devices unfolded quite speedily. Moreover, the exotic scenery taken in Morocco and Portugal added to the pleasure of “watching.” For his role, Lee Seung Gi learned various sports including taekwondo, judo, jiu-jitsu, kendo, and boxing, and proved his potential as an action star.

Gu Family Book (2013)�

Gu Family Book is a fantasy historical drama centering around half-man, half-gumiho� Choi Kang Chi, the son of the guardian spirit of Mt. Jiri. Ignoring the prophecy that he should avoid the one he meets under a tree on the day of the new moon, Choi Kang Chu boldly approaches Dam Yeo Wool, whom he falls in love with. Lee Seung Gi skillfully portrayed Choi Kang Chi, who’s more human than most humans and also has a clumsy side to him. Not just that, he flawlessly paints out the changes he goes through after learning about the blood of gumiho that flows inside his body, helping the viewers focus more on the story. Though Choi Kang Chu and Dam Yeo Woo’s relationship in Gu Family Book ended with an opening ending, Lee Seung Gi and Suzy won the best couple in the MBC Drama Awards later that year. The two reunited in Vegabod six years later.

The King 2 Hearts (2012)�

The King 2 Hearts tells the love story of a North Korean Special Forces officer and the crown prince of South Korea. Lee Seung Gi turned into the immature Prince Lee Jae Ha and started opposite Ha Ji Won. Set in an alternate reality where South Korea is governed by a constitutional monarchy, the drama convincingly depicts the process of Lee Jae Ha, who suddenly ascended the throne, becoming a real monarch with the help of his people, reflecting the political and social issues of the time. Brilliantly pulling off a character who grows in many ways, Lee Seung Gi established himself as a leading actor, not to mention looking perfect in his ceremonial uniforms.

Brilliant Legacy (2009)
Lee Seung Gi new drama
Credit: SBS

Brilliant Legacy is about the love and growth of young people surrounding the inheritance of a family that runs a food conglomerate. Playing his first lead role, Lee Seung Gi completely disappeared into the role of Seon Woo Hwan, the grandson of a chaebol family who grew up without lacking. Seon Woo Hwan was an immature man who splurged money as he wished, but as he confronts Go Eun Sung over his grandmother’s inheritance, she has a good influence on him and they fall in love. Lee Seung Gi and Han Hyo Joo, who first worked together in Nonstop 5, reunited in the drama and showed even better chemistry and won the best couple in the 2009 SBS Drama Awards. If Lee Seung Gi had the image of “a younger boy who stirs up the protective instinct” until this project, he won the title “the crown prince” through Brilliant Legacy.


Editor Seo Hayne: I like actors as they faithfully lead through their long running-time. I also like idols who accomplish everything on stage within 3 minutes.


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